Thursday, January 5, 2006
By Vincent Lewis
When a team is undefeated and has to an opponent's home court, there are several challenges that have to be met. One challenge of course would be to keep the game on the court and not worry about the home fans. The other would be to stick to the game plan and execute well on the court. The Panthers from Collingswood would take their six game winning streak and extend it by one when they traveled to Lindenwold High School. Jon Dempsey's success during the first half would help Collingswood defeat Lindenwold by a 74-65 margin. Collingswood improved their record to 7-0 while the Lions record dropped to 5-2 early on in the season.
Lindenwold started out this year winning their first four games on the season. Three of those victories were against teams from their own conference which will help their quest in returning to the post season. The Warriors from New Egypt ended Lindenwold’s winning streak but the Lions were victorious in their next game. A win over Collingswood would be very important early on in this year’s season. But the Panthers have demonstrated that they can compete with the best of teams. During their first six games, Collingswood dominated each one of those games by posting up double digit wins.
The Panthers started out this game with a full court pressure that slowed down Lindenwold’s dangerous offense. Creating turnovers and getting to the free throw line early allowed Collingswood to build an early six point lead. Lindenwold would get back into this game late in the initial quarter, but Dempsey’s success inside the paint allowed Collingswood to own a four point lead at the start of the second quarter. The Lions would battle back tying this game twice before the half with Davion Pruitt and Ahmad Martin leading the team in scoring. But Dempsey’s 16 point performance gave Collingswood the 32-26 lead at the break.
During the second half, it became a free throw contest between the two teams as the game went inside and a survival of the strongest. Collingswood would expand their lead to the largest of the game at 16 points with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter. Lindenwold would rely on their perimeter shooting to get them back into the game and trailed by eight to start the final quarter. Collingswood’s Darnell McCargo would pick up the scoring support during the second half and finish with 20 points, but it would be Dempsey who would lead all scorers with 22 points. Ahmad Martin led the Lions with 17, Davion Pruitt added 15 and Terrence Thorne finished with 14 points for Lindenwold.